A.J. McCarron never experienced a tie during his collegiate career at Alabama. In fact, he had never experienced a tie since the day he picked up a football.
Five games into his pro career, however, it happened. The Cincinnati Bengals tied the Carolina Panthers, 37-37, this past Sunday.
“It’s definitely different – just because when you tie, you’re upset because you wish you would have won, but you’re not (as) upset (as if you lost),” McCarron said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “It’s just one of those weird things that just happens, I guess. That’s just the game of football.”
Mike Nugent had a chance to give the Bengals a 40-37 win, but his 36-yard field goal as time expired was no good. He finished 3-of-4 on the day, with the 36-yarder being his shortest attempt.
After the game, Bengals cornerback Pacman Jones appeared to call Nugent out for the miss, saying that “everybody gets paid to do a job” and you need to “do your job.”
“Me being a rookie, I don’t know how the older guys handle it (when you lose a game in that fashion),” McCarron said. “The only way I know is just stay by Mike’s side and tell him to keep his head up. Everybody on the team really does like Mike. He’s an excellent player for us, and Pac’s an unbelievable player for us also. Everyone’s going to have their own personal views of it, but at the end of the day, we’re a team and you got to ride and die together. That’s the way it goes. It’s just one of those unfortunate things.”
Still, it’s been an odd season for the Bengals (3-1-1), who remain atop the AFC North. After three games, many were calling them the best team in the NFL, but they’ve suddenly allowed 80 points in two games and haven’t won either.
“We kind of take each day and each game when it comes,” McCarron said. “That’s one thing I’ve learned in the NFL. It doesn’t matter who you played. Week in, week out, it’s tough. It kind of reminds me of playing in the SEC, just because it doesn’t matter who you play that week. You can get beat at any time if you don’t come out on your A-game.”
Speaking of Alabama, McCarron was recently critical of former head coach Nick Saban, saying that the offense he likes to run is a little too bland.
“I think everybody has their own personal opinion, and me and Coach Saban, we talked,” McCarron said. “We’ve talked since the interview, and I had my personal opinion and he has his, but at the end of the day, we respect and love each other. I respect and love the University of Alabama. I’ve always said that I’ll always be in debt to the university itself and then to the football program for allowing me to have so many great memories that I’ll always cherish.”